100 1037 Urothemis edwardsii Blue Basker Male Tzaneen Nov 2016r 4 100 669 Urothemis edwardsii Blue Basker MerenskyDam Nov 2015 r 3 100 1038 Urothemis edwardsii Blue Basker Female Ndumu Mch 2017r 9

Blue  Basker.     Blousonvangertjie.

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Short description:

Blue Basker, Urothemis edwardsii, Genus Urothemis, Family Libellulidae, is medium sized, stout, dark blue and black with blackish hindwing patches and distinctive dark blue markings on the abdomen.

Key identification features:


  • Eyes are black above and grey below.
  • Thorax is Blue grey with to black stripes, often thorax blue pruinose with maturity.
  • Hindwing with large, blackish, basal patch, with fine, amber halo.
  • Forewing with minute traces of basal amber. Veins dark brown with cream coloured Ax veins and outer costal veins.
  • Pterostigmas are light yellowish with a thin, black margin along the front edge.
  • Abdomen is deep blue with distinct dark ladder-like blue/black arrowhead like pattern from the base to tip. Pruinose with maturity.
  • Superior appendages brownish in colour.


  • Similar patterned as male but light yellowish brown.
  • Wing pattern not as distinct as in male.
Compared with other species:
  • Similar to the Red Basker, U. assignata, but different in colour.
  • Female U. assignata has reddish abdomen and less distinct abdominal markings than the female U. edwardsii
Distribution and habitat:
  • Fairly common in the eastern coastal regions and the warm northern parts of South Africa.
  • Prefers standing waters, rivers and flowing channels in marshes, but possibly also lakes, in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and often coarse detritus and a soft muddy bottom.
  • From 0 to 1600 m above sea level.
  • Strong flight but soon returns to perch.
  • Typically rest in ‘pennant’ position, i.e. at the tip of a conspicuous perch, with legs thrust forward and wings raised with the abdomen angled up or down.
Further reading:

The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa     p. 216   

A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa     p. 210        
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa    p.200
Dragonfly Biotic Index     p.197
Websites of interest:
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 665740   
The IUSC Red list of Threatened Species (Least Concern)
Warwick Tarboton
Wildscreen Arkive
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online

Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly, Sketch 1, Sketch 2,  Damselfly
Map of South Africa

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